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(1/6440) Complete compensation in skilled reaching success with associated impairments in limb synergies, after dorsal column lesion in the rat.

Each of the dorsal columns of the rat spinal cord conveys primary sensory information, by way of the medullary dorsal column nucleus, to the ventrobasal thalamus on the contralateral side; thus the dorsal columns are an important source of neural input to the sensorimotor cortex. Damage to the dorsal columns causes impairments in synergistic proximal or whole-body movements in cats and distal limb impairments in primates, particularly in multiarticulated finger movements and tactile foviation while handling objects, but the behavioral effects of afferent fiber lesions in the dorsal columns of rodents have not been described. Female Long-Evans rats were trained to reach with a forelimb for food pellets and subsequently received lesions of the dorsomedial spinal cord at the C2 level, ipsilateral to their preferred limb. Reaching success completely recovered within a few days of dorsal column lesion. Nevertheless, a detailed analysis of high-speed video recordings revealed that rotatory limb movements (aiming, pronation, supination, etc.) were irreversibly impaired. Compensation was achieved with whole-body and alternate limb movements. These results indicate the following: (1) in the absence of the dorsal columns, other sensorimotor pathways support endpoint success in reaching; (2) sensory input conveyed by the dorsal columns is important for both proximal and distal limb movements used for skilled reaching; and (3) detailed behavioral analyses in addition to endpoint measures are necessary to completely describe the effects of dorsal column lesions.  (+info)

(2/6440) Long-term recovery of diaphragm strength in neuralgic amyotrophy.

Diaphragm paralysis is a recognized complication of neuralgic amyotrophy that causes severe dyspnoea. Although recovery of strength in the arm muscles, when affected, is common, there are little data on recovery of diaphragm function. This study, therefore, re-assessed diaphragm strength in cases of bilateral diaphragm paralysis due to neuralgic amyotrophy that had previously been diagnosed at the authors institutions. Fourteen patients were recalled between 2 and 11 yrs after the original diagnosis. Respiratory muscle and diaphragm strength were measured by volitional manoeuvres as maximal inspiratory pressure and sniff transdiaphragmatic pressure. Cervical magnetic phrenic nerve stimulation was used to give a nonvolitional measure of diaphragm strength: twitch transdiaphragmatic pressure. Only two patients remained severely breathless. Ten of the 14 patients had evidence of some recovery of diaphragm strength, in seven cases to within 50% of the lower limit of normal. The rate of recovery was variable: one patient had some recovery after 2 yrs, and the rest took 3 yrs or more. In conclusion, in most patients with diaphragm paralysis due to neuralgic amyotrophy, some recovery of the diaphragm strength occurs, but the rate of recovery may be slow.  (+info)

(3/6440) Preconditioning in immature rabbit hearts: role of KATP channels.

BACKGROUND: The protective effects of ischemic preconditioning have been shown to occur in adult hearts of all species studied. We determined whether immature hearts normoxic or chronically hypoxic from birth could be preconditioned, the time window or memory of the cardioprotective effect, and the involvement of the KATP channel. METHODS AND RESULTS: Isolated immature rabbit hearts (7 to 10 days old) were subjected to 0, 1, or 3 cycles of preconditioning consisting of 5 minutes of global ischemia plus 10 minutes of reperfusion. This was followed by 30 minutes of global ischemia and 35 minutes of reperfusion. Normoxic hearts (FIO2=0.21) subjected to 1 cycle of preconditioning recovered 70+/-7% of left ventricular developed pressure compared with 43+/-8% recovery in nonpreconditioned controls. Three cycles of preconditioning did not result in additional recovery (63+/-8%). Hearts from rabbits raised from birth in hypoxic conditions (FIO2=0.12) and subjected to 1 and 3 preconditioning cycles did not show increased recovery (68+/-8% and 65+/-5%) compared with nonpreconditioned hypoxic controls (63+/-9%), although the recovery was greater in chronically hypoxic hearts than in age-matched normoxic controls. Increasing the recovery period after the preconditioning stimulus from 10 to 30 minutes resulted in a loss of cardioprotection. Pretreatment of normoxic hearts for 30 minutes with the KATP channel blocker 5-hydroxydecanoate (300 micromol/L) completely abolished preconditioning (70+/-7% to 35+/-9%) but had no effect on nonpreconditioned hearts (40+/-8%). CONCLUSIONS: Immature hearts normoxic from birth can be preconditioned, whereas immature hearts hypoxic from birth cannot. Preconditioning in normoxic immature hearts is associated with activation of the KATP channel.  (+info)

(4/6440) Regional differences in the recovery course of tachycardia-induced changes of atrial electrophysiological properties.

BACKGROUND: Regional differences in recovery of tachycardia-induced changes of atrial electrophysiological properties have not been well studied. METHODS AND RESULTS: In the control group (5 dogs), atrial effective refractory period (AERP) and inducibility of atrial fibrillation (AF) were assessed before and every 4 hours for 48 hours after complete atrioventricular junction (AVJ) ablation with 8-week VVI pacing. In experimental group 1 (15 dogs), AERP and inducibility of AF were assessed before and after complete AVJ ablation with 8-week rapid right atrial (RA) pacing (780 bpm) and VVI pacing. In experimental group 2 (7 dogs), AERP and inducibility of AF were assessed before and after 8-week rapid left atrial (LA) pacing and VVI pacing. AERP and inducibility and duration of AF were obtained from 7 epicardial sites. In the control group, atrial electrophysiological properties obtained immediately and during 48-hour measurements after pacing did not show any change. In the 2 experimental groups, recovery of atrial electrophysiological properties included a progressive recovery of AERP shortening, recovery of AERP maladaptation, and decrease of duration and episodes of reinduced AF. However, recovery of shortening and maladaptation of AERP and inducibility of AF was slower at the LA than at the RA and Bachmann's bundle. CONCLUSIONS: The LA had a slower recovery of tachycardia-induced changes of atrial electrophysiological properties, and this might play a critical role in initiation of AF.  (+info)

(5/6440) Case report. Recovery of shoulder movement in patients with complete axillary nerve palsy.

Classical anatomical teaching suggests that the deltoid muscle is the main abductor of the shoulder. We present three cases of proven complete paralysis of the deltoid with an almost full range of movement of the shoulder owing to the compensatory action of accessory muscles. The mechanisms by which this occurs are described.  (+info)

(6/6440) Resolution of third nerve paresis after endovascular management of aneurysms of the posterior communicating artery.

The effect of endovascular treatment on the recovery of neural function in patients with third nerve palsy caused by an aneurysm of the posterior communicating artery is poorly documented. We report three cases in which third nerve paresis resolved completely within 2 to 3 weeks of endovascular occlusion of a posterior communicating artery aneurysm.  (+info)

(7/6440) The relationship between the functional abilities of patients with cervical spinal cord injury and the severity of damage revealed by MR imaging.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The appearance of the damaged spinal cord after injury correlates with initial neurologic deficit, as determined by the American Spinal Injury Association grade and manual muscle test score, as well as with recovery, as assessed by manual muscle test scores. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the presence of spinal cord hemorrhage and the size and location of spinal cord edema on MR images is predictive of functional recovery in survivors of cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). METHODS: The degree of damage to the cervical spinal cord was measured on the MR images of 49 patients who underwent imaging within 72 hours of sustaining SCI. The effects of hemorrhage and length/location of edema on changes in the value of the motor scale of the functional independence measure (FIM) were assessed on admission to and discharge from rehabilitation. RESULTS: Patients without spinal cord hemorrhage had significant improvement in self-care and mobility scores compared with patients with hemorrhage. There was no significant effect of spinal cord hemorrhage on changes in locomotion and sphincter control scores. The rostral limit of edema positively correlated with admission and discharge self-care scores and with admission mobility and locomotion scores. Edema length had a negative correlation with all FIM scales at admission and discharge. CONCLUSION: The imaging characteristics of cervical SCI (hemorrhage and edema) are related to levels of physical recovery as determined by the FIM scale. Imaging factors that correlate with poor functional recovery are hemorrhage, long segments of edema, and high cervical locations.  (+info)

(8/6440) Functional status outcomes for assessment of quality in long-term care.

OBJECTIVE: Although decline in functional status has been recommended as a quality indicator in long-term care, studies examining its use provide no consensus on which definition of functional status outcome is the most appropriate to use for quality assessment. We examined whether different definitions of decline in functional status affect judgments of quality of care provided in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) long-term care facilities. METHODS: Six measures of functional status outcome that are prominent in the literature were considered. The sample consisted of 15 409 individuals who resided in VA long-term care facilities at any time from 4/1/95 to 10/1/95. Activities of daily living variables were used to generate measures of functional status. Differences between residents' baseline and semi-annual assessments were considered and facility performance using the various definitions of functional status were described. RESULTS: The percentage of residents seen as declining in functional status ranged from 7.7% to 31.5%, depending upon the definition applied. The definition of functional status also affected rankings, z-scores, and 'outlier' status for facilities. CONCLUSION: Judgments of facility performance are sensitive to how outcome measures are defined. Careful selection of an appropriate definition of functional status outcome is needed when assessing quality in long-term care.  (+info)